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Zabeen Hirji Announced as New Chair of CivicAction

TORONTO, February 13, 2018 – CivicAction announced today that Zabeen Hirji is the new Chair of its Board of Directors. A respected leader in the corporate and community sector, Zabeen spent 40 years with RBC – including 10 years as Chief Human Resources Officer. She is currently an advisor in the private, public and academic sectors, holding roles such as Global Advisor, Future of Work at Deloitte. Zabeen has been a member of CivicAction’s Board of Directors since 2011 and as Chair of CivicAction’s Escalator initiative since 2013 has worked to connect young people to employment opportunities.

“I look forward to working with the Board and the outstanding team at CivicAction to achieve our vision of creating inclusive cities, strong communities, and a region where all citizens play a role in building a better future,” said Hirji. “CivicAction builds partnerships and takes actions to make the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area a better place to live. This focus on action and its deep potential for impact attracted me to the role as Chair.”

A long-standing champion of inclusive prosperity through investing in people and building organizations and societies where everyone can realize their potential, Zabeen has been honoured with the Governor General’s meritorious Service Medal for advancing diversity and inclusion and is a three-time recipient of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

“Cities aren’t built by engineers, they are built by those who step up and lead,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction. “In this respect Zabeen, is a visionary architect that has impacted boardrooms and communities across our region and country.”

The position of Chair was left vacant after the resignation of Rod Phillips who is running in the GTA riding of Ajax. Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences – and long-time board member and champion of CivicAction – assumed the position of Interim Board Chair while a formal recruitment process took place.

“Zabeen is the right person to lead the organization and the Board is excited to have our first female Chair of CivicAction,” said MacIsaac. “Engaged leadership means bringing together voices from many different places and Zabeen has made a career and legacy of doing just that.”

CivicAction and its Board of Directors welcomes Zabeen to this new role and sincerely thanks Rob for his dedicated and thoughtful leadership during this time of transition. Rob will remain a leading executive on the Board.


Our thanks to Cision for sponsoring this announcement.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Sarah Harris
Senior Director of Integrated Communications and Public Affairs, CivicAction
416-309-4480 x 508 or

About CivicAction: For over a decade, CivicAction has brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of the Greater Toronto Region’s toughest challenges. To find out more visit or follow @CivicActionGTHA. Building on a decade of high-impact and award-winning leadership programming, CivicAction launched the CivicAction Leadership Foundation to further elevate and catalyze our region’s leadership potential. For more information visit

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